Below you will find various proofs about fake products, and learn what is important and what it not when it comes to looking for a genuine product.
Even known big brand stores sell fake herbal products.
A recent independent test done in Canada proved that a 3rd of the supplements on the market today including those which are common, are fake and often just substituted. About 60% of the products had also been adulterated. See the link HERE
Major stores like Walmart, GNC and Target sold fake herbals...
New York Attorney General Targets Supplements at Major Retailers, The New York Times, February 3, 2015
GNC, Target, Wal-Mart, Walgreens accused of selling adulterated ?herbals?, The Washington Post, February 3, 2015
Top retailers sold bogus bottles of herbal supplements, N.Y. authorities allege, NJ Advance Media, February 4, 2015
In 2015 The Journal of Applied Sciences tested 41 Tongkat Ali extract products from known brands, all purchased from Amazon.com, and found 10 of them contained very little Eurycomanone, meaning they were just root powder and not an extract. 17 contained none at all meaning they were fake, despite being FDA and/or MAL registered.
The full article can be downloaded HERE
IMPORTANT: The product that they found in the article to contain around 8% eurycomanone, Nu-Prep Lelaki, looks promising at first glance HOWEVER it has been mixed with 250mg of filler (Maltodextrin) per capsule, meaning that every capsule contains just 100mg of actual Tongkat Ali. There are also only 60 caps per bottle so you only get 6 grams of Tongkat Ali total per bottle, which is not a good deal at all. I did consider stocking it alongside the current products until I found this out.
Also Nu Prep it is NOT standardized to 8%, the bottle states just 0.8-2.0%, so the 8% result was probably a fluke and future batches may contain considerably less, possibly as low as 0.8%. it would not suprise me if that was a typo on the test result and they wrote 8 instead of .8.
Beware of falsified extract ratios.
Extract ratios are also often faked. One award winning well established Chinese company, "Naturalin Bio" actually admitted to me that they lie about their extract ratios because if they did not, nobody would buy from them! The COA stated 1:200. They told me it was actually just around 1:35.
I forwarded their email to the people they claim to supply, not a single one of them responded.
Screen shot of the email below...
I can happily forward the email and the full details, i.p address, etc, to anyone that wants it as I do realize some people may think the screen shot is fake. Anything can be faked with photo shop.
Why did they tell me it was a fake extract ratio? Well I told them that there was no difference between any of the the various extract ratios they sent me, and also I suspected it was Tribulus, although I could not prove this. The person responded with the above email. Perhaps they thought that I, just like the other supplement companies they sell too, would not care about the extract ratio as I would make a small fortune selling it. Nowadays however the price of 1:200 extract is not much more than other extracts, and it is standardized extracts which cost the most, and rightly so.
You can read more about Tongkat Ali ratios and why they mean nothing, and why standardization is the only way forward HERE . I strongly suggest you read this page before purchasing.
Selling root powder or other substances in place of a real extract is common.
Chinese Tongkat Ali is about 100 dollars a kilo, so astronomical profits can be made selling these possibly fake/adulterated/untested extracts even at low prices. In many cases they are not what they state and some wholesalers never have them tested, which is how they find their way in to big stores and brands.
Side by side Tongkat Ali and extracts such as Tribulus are identical, the shade may sometimes vary but that is normal with both herbs. They both taste bitter and are both reported to raise libido, so to someone who has never tried real Tongkat Ali before, they would think the Tribulus was indeed Tongkat.
FDA and other health organization registration numbers are not proof a product is real.
The most common tactic used by a seller of a fake product is to show you an FDA registration number or The Health Ministry of Malaysia registration number or similar,or to display them in a prominent place on their site as if they actually mean something. Both are 100% irrelevant and neither are recognized by the actual FDA or Malaysian Health Ministry as proof of a genuine product in any way, shape or form.
The FDA do NOT test any herbal product AT ALL before it goes to market or after, unless someone is harmed by the product or reports an adverse side effect (by which time it is to late). If you send them a product for testing because you believe it to be fake or adulterated, they will return it and tell you to find your own lab and pay for your own tests and report it to the BBB or Trading standards if you think it is fake, they are not interested in testing herbal supplements as this is not their job. Their main focus is prescription drugs.
See below link for evidence of this.
FDA 101: Dietary Supplements.
The FDA do not approve or test dietary supplements.
Anybody anywhere in the world can obtain an FDA reg number for free HERE.
Numbers are issued by a computer automatically and not after any kind of inspection is done. The FDA will routinely inspect food facility's, but they will only make sure the facility is up to hygiene and safety standards and that accurate records, batch numbers etc are kept, things like that, they will not lab test the actual supplements to see if they are real without good reason, such as people reporting adverse side effects.
A standard Certificate Of Analysis is also meaningless!
Firstly, in the herbal world, COA stands for "Certificate Of Analysis", it does NOT stand for "Certificate Of Authenticity".
Anyone can submit samples of 1:20 or lower ratios or even different but similar looking herbs to laboratories for analyses for the presence of salmonella or E. coli or heavy metals etc. However, when the sample is submitted to the laboratory it is described to them and labeled as 1:200 Tongkat Ali extract.
If the laboratory is paid to perform only tests for salmonella and E. coli and heavy metals etc, they will just do that. Nothing more, nothing less.
If the sample is submitted with a designation "1:200 Tongkat Ali extract", the laboratory will return a lab report that says: "1:200 Tongkat Ali extract", free of salmonella, E. coli and heavy metals, or whatever else it was tested for. The lab will not examine whether the sample submitted for testing is indeed Tongkat Ali.
A HPLC test is the only sure way to know if a product is real and potent or just fake/weak, but most COA's do not contain any HPLC information as they only have the bare minimum of tests carried out, such as tests for presence of heavy metals etc, thy don't care if the product is real or not and don't want to pay to find out because they would then lose plausible deniability if it is fake.
A TLC test or DNA test can also prove a product is at least partially real, for example it could prove it contains eurycomanone, meaning it does contain real Tongkat Ali, but not how much.
Be wary of any comments or products by Sumatra Pasak Bumi
It would take me all week to explain here why you should be wary of the above mentioned company, so instead I will direct you to a blog at www.tongkatlies.wordpress.com/ . World A.B.S along with some other brands now no longer use SPB as a supplier because of recent quality and honesty issues regarding their 1:200 extract.
Fake Eurycomanone content claims.
Since World A.B.S became one of a very small number of manufacturers that sell Standardized products or test for Eurycomanone content, others have started writing similar or the same percentages on their bottles to compete, without actually testing it first. These are thankfully easy to spot by the stupidly low price.
One such company I strongly suspect is dishonest and using fake Eurycomanone content claims is Tonvara, who when asked to prove their claims of 2.5% eurycomanone point blank refused and said the paperwork was confidential as they did not want it to be used by the competition, which is a ridiculous statement, since they could simply do what most companies do and stamp it with their company stamp in vital places so it can't be copied or used by anyone else, or simply watermark it by covering it with semi-transparent text which is common practice. "We can't give you our proof because we don't want it to be used by competitors" is the most common answer from sellers who use fake claims, don't fall for it!
To be honest in my opinion the price is a dead giveaway, Â£29 for 60 x 600mg caps of 2.4% standardized extract retail isn't realistic and most people will see right through the claim. Also, since a reseller of World A.B.S published info that says 2.4% is the ideal ratio, they reduced their claim of 2.5% down to 2.4%, as if they were just copying them.
Eurypeptides do NOT exist!
Peptides what? The word eurypeptides suggests that somebody is talking about peptides within the Eurycoma plant, but it is not explained on websites that sell Tongkat Ali extract standardized to eurypeptides, what these peptides are supposed to be.
Not a single scientific source or study on Tongkat Ali in the history of mankind, other than the one study provided by the people who are trying to sell you eurypeptides, has ever referred to or mentioned eurypeptides. So, products claiming to be standardized to eurypeptides are standardized to something unknown in both nature and science.
Peptides of course are short chains of amino acids, held together by peptide bonds. When the chains of amino acids become longer (e.g. more than 50), then we no longer refer to them as peptides, but as proteins instead. If it is the peptides found in eurycoma longifolia jack they are talking about, and one can only assume it is, based on the name, then why would you ever want to standardize a Tongkat Ali extract to peptides? If you want peptides just go and buy yourself some amino acid powder and get all the peptides you want for a few dollars...
Quassinoids such as eurycomanone, and glycoproteins are used as standards for the aqueous extract of Tongkat Ali, not eurypeptides. There are plenty of scientific sites online that refer to the active constituents in Tongkat Ali, and they also do not mention eurypeptides at all ever!
The people that "invented" the word Eurypeptides, HP Ingredients, at one point tried to trademark the word but then abandoned it without explanation, which proves the word is made up since it is impossible to trademark a word that is already in use, or already exists in any language.
Proof of this HERE
Go to a lab and tell them you want some Tongkat testing for eurypeptide content, they will probably look at you with some confusion and say it cannot be done as they cannot test for something that does not exist, did you mean peptides?
Eurypeptides are a marketing gimmick used to overcharge people for what is actually just a normal or below par extract in my opinion.
Customer reviews should be taken with a pinch of salt!
You should Ignore any and all good reviews that may accompany any cheap Tongkat product. These tend to be written by people looking to pay a small amount of money for a high end product, they buy what is often Tribulus, thinking it is Tongkat, because it is brown like Tongkat and it is bitter like Tongkat, so it seems to their inexperienced eye and tongue to be Tongkat. They do not know any better.
They then use the product, and just like Tongkat can raise libido, so can Tribulus for many people (though not all), so they assume it is real based on their rise in Libido and leave a positive review, helping the seller deceive more people. Very common and easy scam.
Many sellers also install their own comments script such as commentics on their site and then periodically write fake reviews for themselves, as well as giving them a star rating to make them look good in google.
Avoid liquid extract as it is WEAK and mostly WATER or ALCOHOL.
Liquid extract is much much weaker than a true herbal extract in the case of Tongkat Ali and most other herbs.
To remove the active ingredients from the TKA plants root a liquid must be used, e.g. water or alcohol. Traditional methods involve soaking the roots in this liquid for 48 hours and then repeatedly boiling it. This releases the extract from the roots in to the liquid.
Once this is done the roots are removed from the liquid which is then evaporated, which removes the useless liquid and also other pointless constituents such as cellulose etc, and a concentrated extract is all that remains in the form of crystal-dry flakes. The flakes are then milled, spray dried or freeze dried in to a pure fine powder which is basically a very concentrated extract.
Liquid extracts are just overpriced extracts which still contain the pointless non active liquid that hasn't been evaporated, or more likely, one or two capsules have been dissolved in a small glass tincture so that they can be sold as a liquid extract by dishonest sellers looking to make a massive profit from buyers who think liquid extract is better because they have never bothered to research what they are buying.
Empty 1 or 2 caps in to a small tincture bottle, fill with water or ethanol, price it at Â£20 and you have just made yourself an astronomical profit margin. Add a no returns policy and congratulations! Easy money! Of course the customer will probably need to consume an entire bottle every day twice a day before they feel any effect, unless of course they are susceptible to the placebo effect which, good news for scammers, many are.
Whilst it may be true that liquid extracts are often better than a herbal powder (which is just a herb that has been dried and pulverized in to powder) they are NOT better than a powdered EXTRACT. Powdered herbs and powdered EXTRACTS are very different things.
it only takes one 400mg capsule of Tongkat Ali to turn a cup full of water the color of the extract, and it will taste very bitter despite only having 1 capsule dissolved in it, so do not be fooled by sellers claiming it is good just because it is bitter.
Only buy ROOT extract!
You should be aware that many many people sell extract that is from other parts of the plant, e.g. the bark or the leaves, and not the root. Whilst technically this is still genuine Tongkat Ali, It is only the root that is useful and it is only the root extract that Tongkat studies are based upon.
Whilst other parts of the plant may contain some of the needed constituents, there will be so few of them present that it would be pointless to consume it. Basically if you see an extract for sale that does not state ROOT it will likely be from other parts of the plant. Even if it does state root, it could still be from other parts of the plant but the dodgy manufacturer in Asia just labeled it as root extract.
It must also state root EXTRACT since if it just says root, or pure Tongkat Ali, it is very likely to just be the root ground in to a powder. When they say pure they simply mean they took the root, crushed it and bagged it up without adding anything or taking anything away. Pure does not mean strong when it comes to herbal products.
I have seen people purchasing bags of root powder on ebay, hundreds in fact, and I doubt they realize they will need to boil it and then remove the powder and drink the water once boiled to use it. Simply consuming the root powder would require the user to consume an incredible amount, at least 35 grams daily, more than would be safe to do so, to see any real effect.
If you are worried you have been sold root powder pretending to be an extract, or a mixture of the two, simply heat up some water and add the powder to it and stir. Make sure the water is warm. An extract should dissolve in to the water and appear to fully vanish after a few minutes of stirring. Root powder will not dissolve very much at all, hence when an extract is made the roots are boiled and then removed from the water, as the water will now contain only the soluble parts of the root.